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Who, returning from Jerusalem,
was reading the Scriptures.
A. D. cir. 32
cir. CCII. 4.
cir. CCII. 4.
28 Was returning, and sitting in | him 'read the prophet Esaias, and A. M. cir.4036. An. Olymp. his chariot read Esaias the prophet. said, Understandest thou what thou An. Olymp.
29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, readest? Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
31 And he said, "How can I, except some man 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard should guide me? And he desired Philip that
a Col. 3. 16. -och. 13. 2.
c Rom. 12. 11.
Eph. 3. 3, 4.
tioned in the text, it being a little before the Christian æra : lieve this; and farther, that the 45th Psalm was a prophecy yet it establishes the fact, that a queen of this name, did reign of her journey to Jerusalem; that she was accompanied by a in this place; and we learn from others, that it was a common daughter of Hiram, from 'Tyre; and that the latter part of the name to the queens of Ethiopia. Pliny, giving an account Psalm, is a prophecy of her having a son by Solomon, and of of the report made by Nero's messengers, who were sent to his ruling over the Gentiles.” Travels, Vol. II. page 395, &c. examine this country, says, Edificii oppidi (Meroes) pauca : All this being granted, and especially the scripture fact of regnare fæminam CANDACEN; quod nomen multis jam annis the queen of Sheba's visit, and the great probability, supad reginas transit. llist. Nat. lib. vi. cap. 29. ad fin. They ported by uninterrupted tradition, that she established the Jewreported, that “the edifices of the city were few: that a wo ish religion in her dominions, on her return; we may at once man reigned there of the name of Candace ; which name had see that the eunuch in question, was a descendant of those passed to their queens successively, for many years.” To Jews; or that he was a proselyte in his own country, to the one of those queens, the eunuch in the text belonged: and Jewish faith ; and was now come up at the great feast, to the above is sufficient authority to prove that queens of this worship God at Jerusalem. Mr. Bruce may be right; but name, reigned over this part of Ethiopia.
some think that Saba, in Arabia Fælix, is meant; see the Had come to Jerusalem for to worship] Which is a proof note on Matt. xii. 42. that he was a worshipper of the God of Israel ; but how came Verse 28. Sitting in his chariot, read Esaias the prophet.] be acquainted with the Jewish religion? Let us for a little, He had gone to Jerusalem to worship; he had profited by examine this question. In 1 Kings x. 1, &c. we have the his religious exercises, and even in travelling, he is improving account of the visit paid to Solomon by the queen of Sheba; his time. God sees his simplicity and earnestness, and prothe person to whom our Lord refers, Matt, xii. 42. and Luke vides him an instructor, who should lead him into the great xi. 31. It has been long credited by the Abyssinians that truths of the gospel; which, without such an one, he could this queen, who by some is called Balkis, by others Maqueda, not have understood. Many, after having done their duty, as was not only instructed by Solomon in the Jewish religion, they call it, in attending a place of worship, forget the erbut also established it in her own empire on her return : that rand that brought them thither; and spend their time on their she had a son by Solomon named Menilek, who succeeded her return, rather in idle conversation, than in reading or conin the kingdom ; and from that time till the present, they | versing about the word of God. It is no wonder that such have preserved the Jewish religion. Mr. Bruce throws some should be always learning, and never able to come to the light upon this subject, the substance of what he says, is the knowledge of the truth. following; “There can be no doubt of the expedition of the Verse 29. Then the Spirit said unto Philip] This holy queen of Sheba ; as Pagan, Moor, Arab, Abyssinian and all || man having obeyed the first direction he received from God; the countries round, vouch for it, nearly in the terms of Scrip- and gone southward, without knowing the reason why; it ture. Our Saviour calls her queen of the South; and she is was requisite that he should now be informed of the object of called in 1 Kings x. 1, &c. 2 Chron. ix. 1, &c. queen of Sheba his mission: the Spirit said unto him, go near and join thyor Saba; for Saba, Azab and Azaba all signify the south : self, 8c. The angel who had given him the first direction and she is said to have come from the uttermost parts of the had departed; and the influence of the Holy Spirit now comeurth. In our Saviour's time the boundaries of the known pleted the information. · It is likely that what the Spirit did land southward, were Raptum or Prassum; which were the in this case, was by a strong impression on his mind, which uttermost parts of the known earth, and were with great pro- | left him no doubt of its being from God. priety so stiled by our Lord. The gold, myrrh, cassia, and Verse 30. Heard him read the prophet Esaias] The eu. frankincense which she brought with her, are all products of nuch it seems, was reading aloud, and apparently in Greek, that country. The annals of the Abyssinians, state that she for that was the common language in Egypt: and indeed alwas a pagan when she left Saba or Azab, to visit Solomon ; most in every place, it was understood. And it appears that and that she was there converted and had a son by Solomon, it was the Greek version of the Septuagint that he was read. who succeeded her in the kingdom, as stated above. All the ing, as the quotation below, is from that Version. inhabitants of this country, whether Jews or Christians, be Verse 31. How can I, except some man should guide me?)
Philip, explains the passage he was
reading, by preaching to him Jesus.
A. D. cir. 32. An. Olymp. cir. CCII. 4.
cir. CCII. 4.
A. M. cir. 1036. he would come up and sit with him.|| I pray thee, of whom speaketh the pro. A.D.C.92
32 The place of the scripture which phet this? of himself, or of some other An. Olymp.
he read was this, « He was led as a man? sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb 3
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began before his shearer, so opened he not his at the same scripture, and preached unto him mouth :
Jesus. 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken 36 And as they went on their way, they came away: and who shall declare his generation ? unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, for his life is taken from the earth.
here is water; what doth hinder me to be bap31 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, tized ?
a Isai. 53. 7, 8.
+ Luke 21. 27. ch. 18. 28.
Lc ch. 10. 47.
This is no proof that “the Scriptures cannot be understood there was any person who could appear in behalf of the chawithout an authorized interpreter," as some of the papistical racter of the criminal? whether there was any who, from inwriters assert. How could the eunuch know any thing of timate acquaintance with his manner of life, could say any the gospel dispensation, to which this Scripture referred ? || thing in his favour? This circumstance I have noticed before, That dispensation had not yet been proclaimed to him; he and it has been particularly remarked in the case of Stephen; knew nothing about Jesus. But where that dispensation has see at the end of chap. vii. In our Lord's case, this benevobeen published; where the four Gospels and the apostolic lent enquiry does not appear to have been made; and perhaps epistles are at hand, every thing relative to the salvation of to this breach of justice, as well as of custom, the prophet rethe soul, may be clearly apprehended by any simple upright fers: and this shews how minutely the conduct of those bad person. There are difficulties, it is true, in different parts of men was known 700 years before it took place. God can the sacred writings, which neither the pope nor his conclave foreknow what he pleases; and can do what he pleases; and can solve : and several, which even the more enlightened pro- | all the operations of his infinite mind are just and right. testant cannot remove: but these difficulties do not refer to Some think that who shull declare his generation.? rasers to matters in which the salvation of the soul is immediately con his eternal sonship; others to his miraculous conception by cerned: they refer to such as are common to every ancient the Iloly Spirit, in the womb of the virgin; others, to the author in the universe. These difficulties being understood, multitudinous progeny of spiritual children, which should be add to the beauty, elegance, and justness of the language, born unto God, in consequence of his passion and meritorious thoughts, and turns of expression; and these, only the fero || death. Perhaps the first, is the best and most natural who are capable of understanding, are able to relish. As to sense. all the rest, all that relates to faith and practice, all, in Verse 31. Of whom speaketh the prophet this] This was which the present and eternal interest of the soul is con a very natural enquiry : for in the text itself, and in its circerned, “the wayfaring man, though a fool, (quite illiterate) cumstances, there was nothing that could determine the shall not err therein."
meaning, so as to ascertain whether the prophet meant himThat he would come up, and sit with him.] So earnestly self or some other person; and the very enquiry shews that desirous was he, to receive instruction relative to those things the eunuch had thought deeply on the subject. which concerned the welfare of his soul.
Verse 35. Began at the same scripture] He did not conVerse 32. The place of the scripture] IIsployy 74,5742- fine himself to this one scripture, but made this his text; and $4,5, the section, or paragraph.
shewed from the general tenor of the sacred writings, that Verse 33. In his humiliation, his judgment was taken Jesus was the Christ, or Messiah ; and that in his person, uzay] He who was the fountain of judgment and justice, had birth, life, doctrine, miracles, passion, death, and resurrecno justice shewn him, (mercy he needed not) in his humilia- tion, the scriptures of the Old Testament were fulfilled. This tion ; viz. that time in which he emptied himself, and appeared preaching had the desired effect, for the eunuch was conin the form of a servant.
vinced of the truth of Philip's doctrine; and desired to be Who shall declare his generation] Try YeveW.Y O'TO!; an- baptized in the nume of Jesus. swering to the Hebrew 1919 duro, which Bp. Lowth under Verse 36. See, here is water] He was not willing to stands as implying his manner of life. It was the custom omit the first opportunity that presented itself, of his taking among the Jews, when they were taking away any criminal l' upon himself, the profession of the gospel. By this we may from judgment to execution, to call out and enquire whether see, that Philip had explained the whole of the Christian faith
The eunuch believes and is baptized.
Philip goes to Azotus and Cesarea.
A. M. cir. 4036.
cir. CCII. 4.
37 And Philip said, “If thou helier 39 And when they were come up An. Olymp. est with all thine heart, thou mayest. out of the water, the Spirit of the An. Olymp. cir. CCII. 4. And he answered and said, "I believe Lord caught away Philip, that the euthat Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
much saw him no more : and he went on his way 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand rejoicing. still: and they went down both into the water, 40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passboth Philip and the eunuch ; and he baptizeding through he preached in all the cities, till he him.
came to Cæsarea.
> Vatt. 28. 19. Mark 16. 16. Matt. 16. 16. John 6. 69. & 9.35, 38.
& 11. 27. ch. 9. 20. 1 John 1. 15. & 5. 5, 13.
• 1 Kings 18. 12. 2 Kings 2. 16. Ezek.
3. 12, 11.
to him; and the way by which believers were brought into ried off Philip in some such manner as the Apocrypha reprethe Christian church.
sents the transportation of Ilabakkuk, who was taken up by Verse 37. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.] || the hair of the head, and carried from Judea to Babylon ! He believed that Jesus, whom Philip preached to him, was For such an interposition, there was no need. When Philip THE CArist or Messiah; and consequently the Son of had baptized the eunuch, the Spirit of God shewed him that God.
it was not the will of God that he should accompany the euThis whole verse is omitted by ABCG. several others of the nuch to Meroë, but on the contrary, that he should hasten first authority, Frpen's edit. of the Arabic; the Syriac, the Cop-away to Ashdod; as God had in that, and the neighbouring tic, Sahidic, Ethiopic, and some of the Slavonic; almost all the places, work sufficient to employ him in. critics declare against it as spurious. Griesbach has left it out Verse 40. Philip was found at Azotus] From the timo of the text; and professor White in his Crisews says, “ Hic he left the eunuch, he was not heard of till he got to Azotus ; versus, certissime delendus,” this verse, most assuredly, which according to Dr. Lightfoot, was about 31 miles from should be blotted out. It is found in E. several others of mi-Gaza; and probably it was near Gaza that Philip met the nor importance, and in the Vulgate and Arabic. In those eunuch. The Azotus of the New Testament, is the Ashdod MSS. where it is extant, it exists in a variety of forms, of the Old. It was given by Joshua to the tribe of Judah, though the sense is the same.
Josh. xv. 47. It was one of the five lordships which beVerse 38. And they went down] They alighted from the longed to the Philistines; and is a seaport town on the Medichariot into the water. While Philip was instructing him, and terranean sea, between Gaza on the south, and Joppa or Jaffa he professed his faith in Christ, he probably plunged himself on the north. Ilerodotus reports, lib. ii. cap. 157. that under the water, as this was the plan which appears to have Psammeticus king of Egypt, besieged this city 29 years; been generally followed among the Jews, in their baptisms:which, if true, is the longest siege which any city or fortress but the person who had received his confession of faith, was ever endured. he to whom the baptism was attributed, as it was adminis Preached in all the cities, till he came to Cæsarea.] This tered by his authority.
was Cæsarea in Palestine, formerly called Strato's tower, Verse 39. The Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip] built by Herod the Great, in honour of Augustus. There was Perhaps this means no more than, the Holy Spirit suggested to an excellent harbour here, made by Herod; and after the the mind of Philip that he should withdraw abruptly from the destruction of Jerusalem, it became the capital of the whole eunuch ; and thus leave him to pursue his journey, reflecting" land of Judea. It must be always distinguished from Cæsaon the important incidents which had taken place. Some rea Philippi, which was an inland town, not far from the suppose that the angel of the Lord, and the spirit of the springs of Jordan. Whenever the word Casarea occurs, Lord, are the same person throughout this chapter. There is without Philippi, the former is intended. As Philip preached a remarkable reading in the Codex Alexandrinus which ex in all the cities of Palestine till he came to Cæsarea, he must ists thus in two lines :
have preached in the different cities of the Philistine country; INAATIONENIENECENENITONETNOTXON
Ashdod, Akkaron and Jamnia, and also in the principal parts The spirit of the Lord fell upon the eunuch :
of Samaria; as these lay in his way from Gazu to Cæsarea.
As there was a readier disposition to receive the word in ArTEAOCAEKTHPIJACENTONPIADITION.
those places, the Spirit of the Lord, under whose guidance he But the angel of the Lord snatched away Philip. acted, did not suffer him to accompany the eunuch to AbysThis reading is foucd in several other MSS. and in some sinia. It appears from chap. xxi. 8. that Philip settled at Versions. Many think that the spirit or angel of God car Cæsarea where he had a house and family; four of his unmar.
Saul continues to persecute
the Christian church
ried daughters being prophetesses. It is likely that his iti- || imperious duty that any master of a family can be called on nerant mission ended here; though he continued occasionally | to perform; and which it is impossible for any man to acto perform the work of an evangelist ; and to bring up his complish by substitute. And which none can neglect without family in the knowledge and fear of God, which is the most || endangering his own salvation.
CHAPTER IX. Saul, bent on the destruction of the Christians, obtains letters from the high-priest, authorizing him to seize those
whom he should find at Damascus, and bring them bound to Jerusalem, 1, 2. On his way to Damascus, he has a divine vision, is convinced of his sin and folly, is struck blind, and remains three days without sight, and neither eats nor drinks, 3–9. Ananias a disciple, is commanded in a vision, to go and speak to Saul, and restore his sight, 10–16.
Ananias goes and lays his hands on him, and he receives his sight, and is baptized, 17—19. Saul, haring spent a few days with the Christians at Damascus, goes to the synagogue, proclaims Christ, and confounds the Jews, 20—22. The Jews lay wait to kill him, but the disciples let him over the walls of the city, in a basket, by night, and he escapes to Jerusalem, 23—25. Having wished to associate with the disciples there, they avoid him; but Barnabas takes and brings him to the apostles, and declares his conversion, 26, 27. He continues in Jerusalem preaching Christ, and arguing with the Hellenistic Jews, who endearour to slay him , but the disciples take him to Cæsarea, and send him thence to his own city Tarsus, 28–30. About this time, the churches being freed from persecution, are edified and multiplied, 31. Peter heals Eneas at Lydda, who had been asicted with the palsy eight years ; in consequence of which miracle, all the people of Lydda and Saron are converted, 33–35. Account of the sickness and death of a Christian woman named Tabitha, who dwelt at Joppa; and her miraculous restoration to life by the ministry of Peter, 36–41. Gracious effects produced among the inhabitants of Lydda by this miracle, 42, 43.
ND · Saul, yet breathing out 2 And desired of him letters to A. M.cir.1037. An. Olymp. threatenings and slaughter | Damascus to the synagogues, that An. Olymp.
cir. CCII. 1. against the disciples of the Lord, || if he found
any went unto the high priest,
whether they were men or women, he might
A. D. cir. 33.
t of this way,
# Ch.8. 3. Gal. 1. 13. 1 Tim. 1. 13.
Gr. of the way: So ch. 19. 9, 23.
NOTES ON CHAP. IX.
Αλλα πλεοντας δορυ και λογχας και λευκολοφους τρυVerse 1. Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaugh
φαλειας, , &r] The original text is very emphatic, ETI ELUTIVEWv atsiars Και πηλήκας, και κνημιδας και θυμους επταζοειους. xxi povou, and points out how determinate Saul was, to pur
Ranæ, ver. 1048. sue and accomplish his fell purpose of totally destroying the They breathed spears, and pikes, and helmets, and crests, infant church of Christ. The mode of speech introduced and greaves, and the fury of redoubted heroes. above, is very frequent in the Greek writers; who often ex
The figure is a favourite one with idomer: hence peved TYEpress any vehement, and hostile affection of the mind by the verb
ONTES A CANTES, the Abantes breathing strength.-11. ii. 536. TTVEELY, to breathe, to pant; so Theocritus Idyll. xxii. ver. 82.
and how frequently he speaks of his fierce countrymen, as, Εν μεσσον συναγoν, φονον αλλαλoισι πνεoντες.
HEVEG TI VEDOYTES AX2101, the Greeks breathing strength, see They came into the assembly, breathing mutual slaughter.
Il. iii. 8. xi. 508. xxiv. 364. which phrase an old Scholiast Euripides has the same form, πυρ πνεουσα και φονον,
interprets, being filled with strength and fury. St. Luke, who breathing out fire and slaughter. Iphig. in Taur.
was master of the Greek tongue, chose such terms as best exAnd Aristophanes more fully, referring to all the prepara-pressed, a heart desperately and incessantly bent on accomtions for war :
plishing the destruction of the objects of its resentment. Such,
And going to Damascus for this purpose, CHAP. IX.
is met by Jesus Christ on the way.
D. . 33. An. Olymp. cir. CCIII. I.
A. M.cir: 1037. bring them bound unto Jerusalem. || shined round about him a light from A. M. cir. 4037.
3 And as he journeyed, he came heaven :
. 33. An. Olymp.
2 Ch. 92. 6. & 28. 12. 1 Cor. 15. 8.
Dan. 8. 17. & 10. 9.
at this time, was the heart of Saul of Tarsus; and it had al when they took possession of Syria : but the Turkish emready given full proof of its malignity, not only in the mar peror Selim having defeated them at the battle of Aleppo in tyrdom of Stephen, but also in making havoc of the church; ! 1516, Danascus was brought under the government of the and in forcibly entering every house, and dragging men and Turks, and in their hands it still remains. In the time of women, whom he suspected of Christianity, and committing St. Paul, it was governed by Aretus, whose father Obodas, them to prison. See chap. viii. 3.
had been governor of it under Augustus. Damascus is 112 Went unto the high-priest] As the high-priest was chief miles south of Antioch; 130 N. N. E. of Jerusalem; and in all matters of an ecclesiastical nature, and the present bu- | 270 S. S. W. of Diarbek. Longitude 37°. East. Latitude siness was pretendedly religious; he was the proper person to 33o. 45' North. The fruit tree called the Damascene, vulapply to for letters by which this virulent persecutor might garly Damazon, and the flower called the Dumask rose, were be accredited. The letters must necessarily be granted in transplanted from Damascus to the gardens of Europe : and the name of the whole sanheilrin, of which, Gamaliel, Saul's the silks and linens, known by the name of Damasks, were master was at that time the head; but the high-priest was the probably first manufactured by the inhabitants of this ancient proper organ, through whom this business might be nego-city. tiated.
Any of this way] That is, this religion, for so 777 derec in Verse 2. Letters to Damascus to the synagogues] Da Hebrew, and tôos hodos in Hellenistic Greek, are often to be mascus, anciently called purn Dumask and purpo Darmask, understood. m. 777 derec Yehovuh, the way of the Lord, was once the metropolis of all Syria. It was situated at 50 implies the whole of the worship due to him, and prescribed miles distance from the sea ; from which it is separated by by himself: the way or path in wlrich he wills men to walk, lofty mountains. It is washed by two rivers, Amura or that they may get safely through life; and finally attain ever. Abara, which ran through it, and Pharpar, called by the lasting felicity. The Jewish writers designate the whole docGreeks Chrysorrhæa, the golden stream, which ran on the trine and practice of Christianity by a similar expression, outside of its walls. It is one of the most ancient cities in onun 777 derec hunotsurim, the way, doctrine, or sect of the the world, for it existed in the time of Abraham: Gen. xiv. Christians. 15. and how long before, is not known. The city of Da. Whether they were men or women] Provided they were mascus is at present a place of considerable trade, owing to Jews; for no converts had as yet been made among the Genits being the rendezvous for all the pilgrims from the north of tiles : nor did the power of the high-priest and sanhedrin exAsia, on their road to and from the temple of Mlecca. It is i tend to any but those who belonged to the synagogues. Pearce. surrounded with pretty strong walls, which have nine gates; every country where there were Jews and synagogues, and is between four and five miles in circumference. It con the power and authority of the sanhedrin and high-priest were tains about 100,000 inhabitants, some say more, the princi- acknowledged: just as papists in all countries, acknowledge pal part of whom are Arubs and Turks, with whom, live in the authority of the pope. And as there can be but one a state of considerable degradation, about 15,000 Christians. pope, and one conclave; so there could be but one high-priest, Damascus, like other places of importance, has passed through and one sanhedrin; and this is the reason why the highthe hands of many masters. It was captured and ruined by priest and sanhedrin at Jerusalem, had authority over all Tiglath Pileser, who carried away its inhabitants to Kin, be- Jews, even in the most distant countries. yond the Euphrates, about 740 years before the Christian Verse 3. Suddenly there shined round about him] This æra : and thus was fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, chap. might have been an extraordinary flash of the electric fluid, xvii. 1—3. and that of Amos, chap. i. 4, 5. It was also ta- accompanied with thunder; with which, God chose to astoken by Sennacherib, and by the generals of Alexander the nish and confound Saul and his company; but so modified it, Great. Metellus and Lælius seized it, during the war of as to prevent it from striking th dead. Thunder would Pompey with Tigranes ; before Christ 65. It continued un- naturally follow such a large quantity of this fluid, as appears der the dominion of the Romans, till the Saracens took pos- ' to have been disengaged at this time; and out of this thunsession of it in A. D. 634. It was besieged and taken by, der, or immediately after it, Christ spoke in an awful and Teemour lenk, A. D. 1400, who put all the inhabitants to distinct voice, which appears to have been understood by the sword. The Egyptian Mamelukes repaired Damascus Saul only.